The curse of Mother Theresa


2010 marked 100 years since the birth of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu; Mother Theresa. She is a Catholic heroine, beatified by the Catholic Church in 2003 at St Peters in Rome by Pope John Paul II, and given a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She is known the World over for her aiding the impoverished people of India, and in particular, Calcutta. She is often idolised, considered a wonderful, caring, selfless human being.

I could not disagree more with that perception.

There are a great deal of those beatified who are certainly worthy of such high admiration. Anne-Marie Javouhey is perhaps one of my favourites. She founded Institute of Saint Joseph of Cluny at Cabillon in the early 19th Century, dedicating her life educating the poor and slave populations across the World. She was an emancipator, far before my most revered emancipator, Charles Sumner was even born. Javouhey worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the poor and the ill. For this, she deserves all the admiration that the Catholic Church bestowed upon her.

There are also a great deal of those beatified, who do not deserve it, and should be absolutely condemned. Isidore of Seville is a Saint, made so by Saint Clement VIII. Isidore once wrote an essay calling for the Christians to take Jewish children away from their parents by force, and educate them in the Christian way. A wonderful study by Bat-sheva Albert called “Isidore of Seville: His attitude toward Judaism and his impact on Early Medieval Cannon Law” shows that Isidore was concerned with writing instructions for the clergy to adhere to, and those instructions were unusually marred with vicious language aimed directly at Judaism, and perpetuated the persecution and suspicion of Jews during the Medieval period. We could claim that Isidore lived in the 6th Century and that we’re typically viewing and condemning him through 21st Century vision. The problem is, Isidore’s views on taking children away from their parents simply for being Jewish, were radical even for the 6th Century. Because the rational conscience of humanity is often at odds with the irrational immorality hell of organised religion.

Unfortunately, Mother Theresa is not even close to being as admirable in any way, in comparison to Javouhey, and actually closer in terms of the destruction to human life, to Isidore of Seville.

Her order, the “missionaries of charity” did more to inflict suffering, pain and poverty on people needlessly, than the actual causes of that suffering and pain and poverty itself. She believed that poverty was a virtue to brought one closer to God. The more a person suffers, whether they ask for that suffering or not, the closer they are to God according to the warped fantasy of Mother Theresa, recently beatified. Primitive equipment was used to treat wounds. No pain killers were used at all. Unsterilised needles equipment was used. People died far sooner than they would have had Mother Theresa actually bothered to recommend actual medical treatment for the poor that she was apparently “helping”.

Her use of fairy tales to promote suffering and pain should be viewed with the contempt it deserves. She believed suffering was good, abortion was wrong, and birth control was evil. In a country like India, villifying birth control is reckless at best. According to a freelance writer, Judith Hayes, Mother Theresa once told a cancer patient in her care that she did not need pain killers, because:

“You are suffering like Christ on the cross, So Jesus must be kissing you.”

How else would someone come to such a positively dangerous position that does nothing but cause unnecessary pain and suffering, if not for belief. Why would a sane human being refuse pain killers to a dying lady in pain, other than a belief in a God. And what a poor argument for an all loving God that would be.

Mother Theresa sat on a fortune. Banks accounts all over the World, filled with millions upon millions in donations. People were led to believe that they were giving money to alleviate suffering. Instead, the millions of dollars sat unused, like a bottle of water and loaf of bread hanging over the mouths of the starving, being held just out of reach by an insane Nun who wallowed in her feet being kissed by impoverished “Calcutteans”.

Calcutta itself, the capital of West Bengal, is home to far more people than it can sustain. Almost 6 million live in Calcutta and the streets are paved with the homeless. 6 million people, in 71 square miles, is ridiculous. That being said, it has cultural heritage that far surpasses anything else in India. Mother Theresa tried to persuade people against the use of condoms. In a city vastly overpopulated, she was attempting to ban condoms, and persuading people that abortion was a great evil; even for victims of incest and rape. Millions of people were being put at risk, because Mother Theresa and the Catholic Church indulged in an irrational campaign against the use of contraception.

In New York, a homeless and poor shelter was going to be installed in the Bronx. The plans included two storied building. The City Planning Commission insisted that for the disabled, their must be an elevator. The Nuns applied for a waiver of the Disabled Access Laws, on grounds of nothing else but “religious belief”. Mother Theresa and the Nuns refused to allow an elevator to be installed because their religious beliefs forbade them from using “modern conveniences”. When the Commission refused them the waiver, Mother Theresa and her Nuns threw their toys out of the pram and abandoned the project. They would rather let people suffer, than install an elevator.

Susan Shields, an ex-member of the Missionaries on Charity tells her story, about what she witnessed when she was a Sister in the organisation run by Mother Theresa:

When Mother spoke publicly, she never asked for money, but she did encourage people to make sacrifices for the poor, to “give until it hurts.” Many people did – and they gave it to her. We received touching letters from people, sometimes apparently poor themselves, who were making sacrifices to send us a little money for the starving people in Africa, the flood victims in Bangladesh, or the poor children in India. Most of the money sat in our bank accounts.

The flood of donations was considered to be a sign of God’s approval of Mother Teresa’s congregation. We were told by our superiors that we received more gifts than other religious congregations because God was pleased with Mother, and because the Missionaries of Charity were the sisters who were faithful to the true spirit of religious life.

Most of the sisters had no idea how much money the congregation was amassing. After all, we were taught not to collect anything. One summer the sisters living on the outskirts of Rome were given more crates of tomatoes than they could distribute. None of their neighbors wanted them because the crop had been so prolific that year. The sisters decided to can the tomatoes rather than let them spoil, but when Mother found out what they had done she was very displeased. Storing things showed lack of trust in Divine Providence.

Mother Theresa once claimed that doing good for the sake of altruistic reasons, is wrong. She claimed:

There is alwayst he danger that we may become only social workers or just do the work for the sake of the work. … It is a danger; if we forget to whom we are doing it. Our works are only an expression of our love for Christ. Our hearts need to be full of love for him, and since we have to express that love in action, naturally then the poorest of the poor are the means of expressing our love for God.

She was essentially saying that the only moral course a person must take in regard to charity, is to extol the virtues of poverty, let the sick and dying suffer, abandon painkillers, and ban birth control, all because it will take us closer to “Jesus”. It is virtually impossible to reason with someone who is so shockingly unreasonable, it borders on psychopathic.

When Mary Loudon, a volunteer in Calcutta asked one of the Nuns responsible for patient “care” why she was not sterilizing the needles, the nun replied:

There is no point.

And continued to wash the needle under a cold tap.
Loudon then tells a story about a fifteen year old boy who went from having a simple kidney problem, and by the time she was writing this, he was dying. The Nuns had refused to give him antibiotics and would not allow him to be taken to the local hospital. He needed operating on and was just being left to die, whilst the delusional Nuns of the order of Mother Theresa prayed for him. The Nuns argued that if they did it for one, they’d have to do it for all of them. Not withstanding the fact that they were running a shack with unsterilized equipment, they also were sitting on millions of dollars; enough to build a top class hospital. The decision not to use that money to help people, was entirely down to religious belief.

People in the care of Mother Theresa, were given no painkillers, treated with dirty implements, given no specialist care, no professional diagnosis, and more often than not, died because of easily curable injuries and disease. They were indoctrinated to believe that if they doubted Mother Theresa, they were doubting God, and would be punished in the afterlife. They died, for the sake of a multi millionaire religious fundamentalist.

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15 Responses to The curse of Mother Theresa

  1. I share your view . But as much, I would question how comes we are supposed to send charity to country s full of billionaires?
    Ever heard of the abbe Pierre, or soeur Emmanuelle, 2 of our national heroes who fought side by side with the poor in a very different social engaged way?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abbe_Pierre

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soeur_Emmanuelle

  2. bigbluebelle says:

    Wow, I had no idea that Mother Theresa was such a nutcase! I do think your view on religion as a cancer mightbe a bit too simple, but I agree that it is far from as often as we think it is a positive force.

    If you haven’t already, you should see “Prisoners of a White God”. Very disturbing documentary about Christian missions to “help” tribal ethnic groups in Thailand and Laos. You can find it here> http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5151512921334112942#

  3. It depends on what you’d term as “religion”. To me, organised religion is indeed a cancer. Its negatives have always outweighed its positives, throughout history. The Early Christian Church was crazy in its actions, and not just taken in the context of the time.

    Personal spirituality is entirely different, and not necessarily a bad thing.

  4. bigbluebelle says:

    I see. I get what you mean, about inquisitions and crusades and so on. I am interested in East-Asian history, and I can tell you that even Buddhism does not live up to its image… at all.

    Please have a look at a post I did a few weeks ago
    http://bigbluebelle.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/politically-incorrect-guide-to-christianity/

  5. Perpetuating power structures of clergy bureaucracy’s is the opposite of an individual awakening where we experience the world in an interconnected compassionate sensitive way.
    The more we are aware of our self, the less we can be manipulated by patronising authority’s demanding our thoughtless subordination to their aims.
    Our freedom through self acceptance can not be dominated by dogmas instrumenting guilt and fear.

    Buddhism seems to reject the senses, like neoplatonist divisive doctrines.My own enlightenment experience is contradicting this denigration.I trust my own nature more than any pious organisation reducing reality to a feudal immature concept of sin and worthiness.Love is inclusive,not a diploma or path.

  6. janice says:

    First of all, love your blog. You are an amazing young man and make me feel better about this world.

    Mother Teresa was clinically depressed in the opinion of her confessor. Cognitive dissonance, maybe? I think she wanted to help the least helped, but then religion contains this contradiction of “soul” before “body.” This leads to the kinds of insanity you enumerate here, like not giving people the kinds of care that is available. Anyone who says suffering is Christ-like is a damn fool. If Jesus even existed, he never recommended suffering–what kind of ass would he have been if he had?

    God is NOT great, in my opinion, although I have spiritual interests, ideas and experiences that I generally keep to myself, as I do my dreams and sexual fantasies. All these are private and generally unsharable. Religions are mad. They cut people off from each other. They make no sense.

    No wonder she was desperately unhappy and conflicted.

  7. Wonders what a confessor using such a therm like clinically depressed, did?
    As much I am suspicious like you about the clergy bureaucracy, as much I am suspicious of a society who over individualise depression.
    I suggest that it is the usual middle class resignation, frighten of her own anger facing the dysfunctional structures.
    Emotion flattening Pills, or upset revolt?
    Humble patronising, or real society changes?
    What cures truly the feeling of despair?

  8. mission trips…

    [...]The curse of Mother Theresa « Futile Democracy[...]…

  9. [...] bloodshed, the forced conversions, the sick and disgusting excesses of faith by monsters such as Mother Theresa. The treatment of homosexuality, the regressive attitudes toward social progression and scientific [...]

  10. deltaforce12 says:

    I’m not a religious person since I base all my beliefs in reason and logic. However, I find the criticism on this page to be illogical. Mother Theresa seemed to literally follow the teachings of her religion, thinking that if God wanted the sick to be healed then they would be healed. She did not intend harm, nor did she heal — she was basically neutral. The sick may have gotten better or worse without the help of the Church, but there’s no way to know that. What we do know is that the sick and dying were comforted by Mother Theresa in their last hours. The untouchables and the poor who were ignored by society were washed, held and comforted by an old woman. This is your version of evil? To say that Mother Theresa didn’t do enough with the donations she received is ridiculous since the Catholic church collects donations and decides where they’re best spent. If you judge a person to be evil for failing to do everything in his/her power to help the sick, then everyone reading these words must be evil, since I highly doubt that any of us have done everything in our power to save sick people in our communities, much less in other parts of the world. Blaming religion for the world’s problems is a waste of time. There are as many hypocrites in religious organizations as there are in the non-religious communities. Don’t kid yourself. If there were no religion there would still be the same amount of misery, politics and wars going on since it’s human nature to compete and argue…and criticize.

  11. Dr Raymond J. Ritchie says:

    Yes – I knew about Mother Theresa’s nuttiness and psychopathic character. A lot of idealistic well educated western women learnt the hard way that her ideas killed people. Nearly all the money she was given was never spent. She provided no escape from poverty – at least many well meaning people who have taught slum children to read and write have given them some chance. All she offered was prayers and mumbo-jumbo. I wonder what has happened to all the money? The mind boggles.
    One good outcome of her psychopathic nature – she was so much a slave to her own ego that she left no plausible successor. Her movement largely died with her. Good riddance.

    PS: My grandmother was trained as a methodist missionary but she met a good looking farmer and got married instead. That is why I exist. All the rest of her class perished on lunatic missions in Asia. Utterly pointless.

  12. Lili says:

    Of course, that happens to be Your opinion. Give All those involved the opportunity to respond.And naturaly. there is a comment to fuel the gossip from a “Former Sister of Charity.”Why, we woud like to ask, did she become a Former Sister… Lets be fair and include ALL points of view, shall we… no I’m Not Catholic.

  13. josefina says:

    I feel pity for the peron that wrote all these non sense, how bad should be his heart to distortion reallity in such a way, God bless you i am sure Mother Teresa is Praying for you as the saint she really is, that lived a life dedicated to others. Can you Say the same of your self????

  14. Perhaps you should have credited Christopher Hitchens for this “research” you’re claiming for yourself. Much of this is verbatim from his book ‘The Missionary Position’.

  15. I don’t know why you put research in quotation marks. I never claim it to be my research.
    Whilst The Missionary Position is certainly used as a source in this article, so is Free Inquiry Magazine, secularhumanism.org, an article in Forbes from 2010, and other articles posted all over the net. I never once claimed the research to be my own. It clearly isn’t. It’s been said many times before.
    In much the same way that when Christopher Hitchens mentions the right of a person to hear an opinion, being an intrinsic value of the freedom of expression, he is paraphrasing the ideas of John Stuart Mill in his essays on liberty. Hitchens doesn’t credit Mill in debates. I would also be interested to cross reference much of Hitchens’ criticisms of Christianity, with those of Thomas Paine, because whilst it is true that Hitchens presents an updated version of the criticisms, most stem directly from writers like Paine among others, much of which is just rewording.
    Thomas Jefferson’s line: “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is almost a direct copy of a similar line by John Locke. Jefferson doesn’t credit Locke in the Declaration.
    I never claim any article of mine to be new, original research. I do of course try to put my own spin on it, add bits and pieces from other sources, and mash them together, and in my own words, but I never claim the fundamental research to be mine. This is not a PhD thesis. It is a blog.

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